Surely You Can’t Be Serious: Actor Leslie Nielsen Dies

Leslie Nielsen, whose longtime career as a dramatic actor took a sudden turn into comedy with spoofs such as “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun,” has died at the age of 84.

Many of my memories of comedy films growing up featured Nielsen. He was definitely one of a kind. He pulled off straight faced comedic lines better than almost anyone I can remember.

RIP Lt. Frank Drebin!

From CNN:

The Canadian-born Nielsen’s career reached back into the early days of television, when he made frequent appearances on live drama series like “Goodyear Playhouse.”

He played the earnest starship captain in the 1956 science-fiction classic “Forbidden Planet” and made regular appearances on a wide range of TV dramas into the 1970s, including “Hawaii Five-O.”

He also played the captain of an overturned ocean liner in the 1972 disaster movie, “The Poseidon Adventure.”

Much of that changed in 1980, when he was cast as a doctor aboard an endangered jetliner in the gag-a-minute disaster-movie parody “Airplane!”

Nielsen’s deadpan response to the question “Surely, you can’t be serious?” with “I am serious — and don’t call me Shirley” helped launch a second career.

The film’s producers went on to cast him in their short-lived television series “Police Squad!”

He reprised that show’s bumbling lead character, Lt. Frank Drebin, a decade later in three “Naked Gun” movies, in which he shared the screen with O.J. Simpson and Priscilla Presley.

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5 Comments on “Surely You Can’t Be Serious: Actor Leslie Nielsen Dies”

  1. OneOp Says:

    I always enjoyed his performance in anything he did. Peace to his loved ones.

  2. RIP Leslie. His comedic genius will certainly be missed, the guy always get me laughing hard! Everyone remembers him in the Naked Gun movies, which were great. I also remember him for his small role in Surf Ninjas, one of my favorite childhood movies.

    He probably got to Heaven, saw God, and said “I just want you to know, good luck, we’re all counting on you”

  3. Name: Mark Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with his family in their time of need. May he rest in peace. He will be truely missed.

  4. Honeydog Says:

    While Leslie was certainly a fine Dramatic Actor in his earlier years, no doubt he was truly meant for the Path he ultimately chose to take. I hope he knew the extent of his uncomparable great impact on the world of Comedy, and I sure personally appreciate and will never forget every Laugh he brought to me. No one else could do what Leslie did in quite the way he did it, and, because of and Thanks to him, I know I’ll continue to enjoy those Laughs over and over again in some of the best really-Funny Films ever made. RIP.

  5. zelda Says:

    Job well done Leslie.
    Rest In Peace

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